4 Things You Should Know About Design-Build

By Kerstin Wilson posted 09-29-2021 03:16 PM

Design-Build is a construction-procurement model that came about in the Ohio House Bill 153 Construction Reform Bill. This procurement model can be used for any type of renovation or construction project in your school buildings ranging from $50,000 to multi-million-dollar projects. Here are four things you need to know about Design-Build.

  1. You are protected. The Design-Build process requires two independent firms working on behalf of the district-- a Criteria Architect and the Design-Build firm. The Criteria Architect works directly for the school and on the school’s behalf, creating a written scope of work based on the district’s desired outcomes. With the assistance of the Criteria Architect, the district selects a Design-Build firm. The Design-Build firm is responsible for the drawings, engineering, obtaining 3 bids from subcontractors, and managing the project. It is the responsibility of the Design-Build firm to ensure there are no change orders and that the project is completed on time and within budget. Having two independent firms working on your behalf gives you the reassurance that the firms are held accountable.

  2. The process is simple. The timeline is shortened because you can bypass the RFP process. Simply select your preferred Criteria Architect and a Design-Build firm. Recently the Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council (SWOEPC) completed the competitive bidding process validating four Design-Build firms for its members, who are school districts from all over the State of Ohio. The Design-Build firm does the heavy lifting in obtaining multiple bids for each piece of the project. This leads to faster design and implementation, saving time and money.

  3. You’re in Control. This is an “open book” process. As you see the subcontractor bids, you can choose the best fit for your district. You can be involved in progress meetings throughout the design-build process, giving you flexibility and control.

  4. Project Cost is Reduced. Design-Build procurement brings together all elements of a project with architects working in coordination with other members of the project team. In other methods, the architectural design is done independently which often results in unforeseen costs and delays on the project. With this method, the district, the architect, and the design-build firm work as a team. As a team, you choose who you work with, what materials are used, and establish your guaranteed maximum price (GMP). This can reduce the overall cost of the project by 10-20% compared to the traditional Design-Bid-Build method.

Kerstin Wilson is Senior Account Executive at Energy Optimizers, USA. 937.877.1919 | kwilson@energyoptusa.com.